***FILM ONLY REVIEW***
Following the sensible example of the Harry Potter films, the final novel in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series has been split into two films. Like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Breaking Dawn is a lengthy novel, with few sections which could be cut out for filmmaking purposes. Therefore last November saw the release of Breaking Dawn Part 1, with Part 2 to follow in November 2012.
Breaking Dawn is the culmination of all the events to date in the Twilight story. Throughout the three preceding novels/films, we have followed the love story of Bella and vampire Edward, as they battled through dangers and with their relationship. At the start of Breaking Dawn Part 1, Bella is preparing to marry Edward, and to join the Cullen family by becoming a vampire. Her friendship with werewolf Jacob, sworn enemy of vampires, is more difficult than ever, as he struggles to deal with the future she has chosen, while she is unable to let him go. However, while on honeymoon, things change for Bella and Edward, and the future becomes less certain.
Breaking Dawn is possibly my favourite novel of the series. I've always found it exciting, and enjoyed the conclusion of Bella, Edward and Jacob's story. I was looking forward to seeing it on screen, although with some reservations - I knew that Part 1 would feature a section which could be difficult to represent on screen, plus my particular favourite part of the novel would not be in Part 1, but will open Part 2.
Breaking Dawn Part 1 is by its very nature a set up for Part 2. The events of Part 1 are exciting, unexpected (or were when I first read the book!) and completely change the course of the story, but they are really just setting the scene for Part 2, which is where things will really get going. That said, Part 1 is not slow paced or dull, far from it. It moves quickly, more quickly than the corresponding parts of the novel, and contains plenty of tension to keep you glued to the screen.
The section which I referred to above as being potentially difficult to bring to the screen is the only section in the series not narrated by Bella - this is Jacob's part of the story. As part of the wolf pack from the Quileute tribe, he is able to communicate telepathically with his fellow pack brothers. This could have been very difficult to portray on screen, and could have been disastrous, but in actual fact it worked well. There are few sections of "mind conversations", and it appears the filmmakers decided it would be best not to use it too much. This was the best decision I feel, as if they had done too much of it, it could have gone badly. As it is, the scenes where this is used work very well, in particular the argument scene between Jacob and pack leader Sam.
Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella, does a very good job of portraying her changing emotions and desires. She has shown improvement since the first film, Twilight, in which she just seemed to sigh a lot - perhaps not entirely her fault, as this was obviously how she was instructed to act Bella's growing love for Edward. There is however one scene in Breaking Dawn Part 1 in which I felt Stewart did not get it right at all - the wedding. Bella is very nervous about getting married, even though she intends to spend eternity with Edward, and is also worried about falling or otherwise making a fool of herself as she walks down the aisle. The expression on Stewart's face, however, is not worry or nervousness, but rather pain. She genuinely looks pained as she walks down the aisle, and even when she sees Edward waiting for her at the altar her expression does not change significantly enough to show Bella's realization that being with Edward is all that matters.
At the end of the third film, Eclipse, Taylor Lautner almost broke my heart with his performance of Jacob's extreme physical and emotional pain. His suffering grows worse in Breaking Dawn Part 1, and whatever it was that made Lautner up his game at the end of Eclipse has stayed with him. Between him and Robert Pattinson as Edward, we can really see how much pain Bella's choices are causing for those who love her. Pattinson does an excellent job of playing the tortured vampire; his performance hasn't evolved a great deal throughout the series, but he takes it to a new level in Breaking Dawn Part 1.
Although the story of Breaking Dawn Part 1 is tense and absorbing, there is not a great deal of action. So a fight between the Cullens and the vampires near the end of the film has been added. It is a fairly short scene, and doesn't stand out as an addition. In this as an adaptation of a novel, it makes perfect sense, adding some excitement into what could have been an odd scene. While the fight is going on, Jacob is having what I'll call a "wolfy moment" - to say any more than that would be a huge spoiler for anyone who has managed to avoid knowing the story. It's a rather important moment, but it takes place largely in his head, and so we are treated to a rather dodgy and cheesy blurry montage-style scene. To be fair I don't really see what else they could have done - it was always going to be a tricky scene - but it was a bit iffy. Still, it got across the point of the scene, although it is explicitly stated shortly later, just in case we didn't get it.
For all this discussion of acting, story and filmmaking, there is one key point that I need to make about Breaking Dawn Part 1. At no point during the film did I find myself thinking about the fact that I was watching an adaptation of a novel - while watching, I didn't consider the differences to the novel, whether scenes and emotions had been accurately translated into a different medium, or whether places or scenes were different to how I had pictured them from Meyer's writing. I also didn't compare it to previous films - in Eclipse I kept noticing how the Cullens eyes seemed a brighter gold than the first two films, but there was nothing like that in Breaking Dawn Part 1. This reaction, in my opinion, is a huge point in the film's favour: it stands both as a seamless adaptation of the novel, and as a film in its own right. I was able to watch the film as it was, without considering the source novel or the preceding films - it flowed flawlessly from both.
Given this reaction, Breaking Dawn Part 1 is my favourite of the Twilight films so far. It may have less action than the earlier films, but it is very well done, understated and a perfect set up for Part 2. It seems a much more mature film than the series so far, because it is understated. In series of films where different installments are directed by different people, quite often you find differences in what should be constant elements through the series, as the director tries to put their own stamp on the film. Bill Condon, director of Breaking Dawn Part 1, hasn't done that - he has remained largely faithful to the source material, and to the preceding films. Perhaps the success of this is in fact his stamp - making a film which fits seamlessly with the other films and novels.
I don't need to recommend Breaking Dawn Part 1 to Twilight fans - most of you will have seen it already! For those who aren't dedicated fans and who may not have enjoyed the earlier films, I would say to give the series another go. Breaking Dawn Part 1 is worth your time - and fingers crossed Part 2 will top the lot.
Now I'm not the kind of person who takes an automatic dislike to a film because of a negative preconceived reputation it carries with it before my actual viewing. Every "Twilight" film I've seen I entered with an open mind, thinking perhaps finally after all these years, someone had gotten something right. So there I was sitting through "Breaking Dawn Part 1," the elaborately decorated and set-out wedding of Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart), accompanying them in their romantic honeymoon to an exotic South American island which they have for themselves, waiting for something actually interesting or meaningful to happen. But for those of you expecting anything, and I mean anything, to the film's unbearable running time, you'll be sorely disappointed at how very little the film has to tell.
The fact that the film manages to carry on going is an impressive feature in itself. Because the film's entire sequence of events can be summed up in two short sentences. And yet Bill Condon (director) has managed to stretch this out for two whole hours. The idea to split the final installment into two was obviously done to drain as much cash from the Twihards as possible (and don't believe any other reasons that studio executives may conjure up), and it has further damaged whatever credibility that was riding on the franchise. Stephanie Meyer, the author of the original Twilight novels, isn't exactly known for her rich, complex writing. She writes in simple, easy forms which lets her characters and narrative move forward at a brisk pace. Messing with this speed, slowing everything down for the sake of making more money, sacrificing whatever integrity and reputation left in this sad little vampire/werewolf saga is nothing short of greedy and somewhat despicable, subjecting the audience to the brutal torture that exists in the form of "Breaking Dawn Part 1."
It starts off promisingly enough. With the anticipated wedding, everyone has come together - the humans and the vampires. Bella's father Charlie (the awkward yet suitably funny Billy Burke), is clearly not too comfortable with this arrangement, but his little girl is all grown up now and seems to really want this. He has no choice but to let her go. Alice (Ashley Greene) the clairvoyant vampire appears to be more excited about the wedding than Bella, getting stuck in with the bride's make-up, dress, and even her honeymoon packing. Emmett (Kellan Lutz) makes some inappropriate innuendo jokes at the reception speech which leads to an awkward silence, whereas Esme (Elisabeth Reaser) and Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), the vampire matriarch and patriarch, couldn't be more full of love and warmth for the newly married couple. It's all nice, sweet but highly uneventful to the point. Slight tension builds as the jealous Jacob (Taylor Lautner) who cannot take no for an answer shows up and causes some friction between himself and the new groom. But Bella, always the dutiful, considerate girl putting other creatures' desires first, diffuse the situation.
After the first hurdle is complete, the love birds embark on their honeymoon. Both an exciting and nerve-wracking moment for Bella, she gets ready for her first night. And what we get to see is a scene that lacks any kind of romance or passion as the two of them supposedly spend the perfect night. They say they did, but we just don't believe it. The only plus side of the scene would probably be for young Twihards excited to see a bit of Pattinson's flesh. Girls, if you like him that much, watch "Bel Ami" instead. He shows a lot more, and it's a far superior film. And what do they do for the rest of the honeymoon? They play chess. Seriously. And thank god some bad news hits them to break up one of the dullest, most uninspired scenes in the franchise to date. What's the disturbing news that cuts short their away time? It turns out Bella is pregnant.
Now let's pause for a second here. I know how Stephanie Meyer likes to bend and change the rules as she sees fits to advance her stories but this is just one concept that I struggle to understand. I turned a blind eye when it was revealed that vampires in fact glow in the sun, rather than burning to death. But the idea that a vampire can impregnate a person? How is that possible? They're dead. They're cold, they have no breath, they have no heart-beat, they have no metabolic activity, and the last thing they should be able to produce is sperm. And yet Edward, the ever-so handsome, seemingly mutant vampire, appears to be capable of achieving the impossible. Since this whole thread is a pure Meyer invention, she gets to add a whole lot more silly twists to it. The plot starts taking more and more absurd directions, just when you thought the entire franchise could not get any more ridiculous.
Growing inside Bella is a vicious little hybrid that threatens to kill her. And yet, the brave young Bella, in the midst of all the distant, disheartened acting from Stewart, decides to brave this out and refuses to abort the "baby." Aw...maternal love. Hey, I guess this is something hardcore pro-life activists may want to celebrate about. Stewart, who came across as one of the best in the love triangle in terms of acting potential, struggles to deliver here, never quite showing her undying, eternal devotion to her unborn child. Whatever the reason Stewart manages to paint on screen, she decides to put her life on the line, much to the dismay of her recent hubby.
What ensues is an even bigger let-down. The Cullen vampire family, worried for her life, decides to erm...sit around. News of this miraculous conception alarms the wolves too, as they jump to the conclusion that this rapidly growing foetus will pose a threat to their species. They decide to attack. But Jacob, the love-sick puppy, in an unintentionally hysterical sequence in which the badly CGI-designed wolves actually "talk," declares his loyalty to Bella and her merry band of vampires, swearing to protect her at all costs. So it would appear the battle lines have been drawn. Now what happens? Nothing. Absolutely nothing happens. There is an amateurish stand-off that occurs between the Cullen family and the wolves, almost coming to a massive blow but in the end, very little actually materialses. And stick this out long enough, the credits begin to roll. There is no bigger anti-climax than what "Breaking Dawn Part 1" presents.
The one scene that everyone is talking about is the brutal birthing scene in which a lot of gruesome details are shown. Maybe this could cut down the rising figures in teenage pregnancy, who knows? The scene is chaotic, fuzzy and so concerned with not alienating the young members from its loyal fan-base that it never quite delves into the process. You blink and it's over, with no sense of drama or significance. Jacob's little involvement with the newly born child will also no doubt lead to hilarious outbursts from audience members quickly getting tired of this endless charade, as the poorly constructed scene does nothing for Lautner's already struggling acting chops.
Essentially what this boils down to is a hugely expensive, long and unnecessary advert for what will hopefully be a much better second half. The welcome return of The Volturi, the evil red-eyed vampire leaders who were the saving grace of the equally disastrous second installment "New Moon," perhaps signals something more substantial and vastly more interesting in Edward and Bella's final outing. Just why Summit was fishing for an Oscar-nominated director for the final couple of films (Sofia Coppola was also in consideration but it would be safe to assume she wasn't "good" enough...how crushing it must be getting a rejection letter from the "Twilight" franchise of all things...) is anyone's guess, since anyone could have come up with this worthless piece of tosh. The first part should have been condensed into thirty minutes at most, leading up to a grand finale of the final chapter. Instead, greed must have gotten the better judgment of everyone involved, and this is one film of 2011 that everyone should be ashamed of.
As a diehard Twilight fan who has read the book numerous times I was always going to watch the film despite the mixed reviews.
This latest addition to the Twilight saga focusses on the marriage of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen and their consumation of the marriage and resulting pregnancy. Can a human carry a Vampire baby is key to the film and this divides the Cullen family. Along side this runs the story of the Wolves, these are members of the nearby Quiluette tribe who turn into Wolves to protect humans from Vampires. One of these Wolves is Jacob Black, Bella's best friend who is head over heels in love with her.
Obvously the film cannot go into the same depth of detail as the book does and I feel that this is part of the problem with the film. It assumes that the viewer understand the relationship between the Cullens and other characters in the story, e.g. the other 'vegetarian' vampires. It also doesn't cover the turmoil that Bella's pregnancy causes the Cullen family when each member has their own opinion of the baby.
At the end of the film Jacob imprints on someone (don't want to say who, it'll spoil it!) and this is key to stopping the fued between Wolves and Vampires. I don't think that the imprinting phenomenon is delt with enough in the film and this is a shame as it can leave viewers confussed.
There are some elements of the making of the film that are very effective, for example, when carrying the baby Bella becomes very weak and painfully thin. I actually googled to see how they did this as it is very realistic! I felt that the wolves were annimated brilliantly and you can easily forget that they are simply a creation on the computer. However, when communicating with each other the realism is lost. The auto-tunned sounding voices do not match the seriousness of the situation and almost made me laugh out loud!
Overall the film wasn't as good as I had hoped, however, as a fan I was always going to watch it and can't wait for the next one.
After a very long year for many of the twilight saga fans, part one of Breaking dawn has finally been released and I'm sure that all the fans have probably watched the film as soon as it was released too however if you havent seen any of the films or read any of the books, hopefully this review will make you watch the film or read the book.
Breaking dawn part one is the 4th film in the twilight saga following on from Eclipse. As we all know this film has built up alot of hopes as to what it is going to deliever and although alot of people will be very happy with the film there is still alot that would like to rip it apart. So lets get on about the film itself.
We follow straight on after Eclipse and Edward and Bella's engagement so the film opens up with Jacob (who is head over heels in love with Bella although she only see's him as her best friend) recieving the wedding invitation. He is outraged and runs off in his were wolf form away from home. Follwing Jacob you see a few people getting their invitations and seeing their mixed emotions about it.
As the Cullens (mainly Alice) make the preperations for the wedding, bella is still trying to get over her clumsiness before the wedding the following day.
The wedding goes on perfectly and although a very welcomed guest turns up out of the blue and makes a small scene the couple jet off to their honeymoon, happily with Bella non the wiser of where they are actually going. Everything is a suprise to her and as they drive through Rio Bella wonders if the trips is going to stop there. You know its not though.
Of course being on their honeymoon and Bella wanting the only one thing whilst she is still human, sex is going to be on the cards but Edward is very reluctant and after a naked dip in the ocean Bella seems to get her wish but not without any repercussions. Edward refuses to touch her afterwards which makes Bella try to seduce her husband however after a few days Bella gets sick and thats when she finds out she is actually 2 weeks late for her period. The pregancy comes as a shock because they never thought that human/vampire pregnancies could happen, Edward is determined to get the "thing" out of her as soon as possible and to do that they have to leave immediatly. Bella seems to have other plans.
Bella turns to a very unlikely person for help, she doesnt want to kill her child, she wants to keep it and to do this she needs the help from the only person that would understand, but as the pregnancy progresses you can clearly see that Bellas body isnt strong enough to cope with the strength and rapid growth of the half breed child and her body quickly turns into a bag of bones.
When Jacob hears of Bella being home he automatically thinks that Bella has been turned into a vampire and rushes to her only to find out that it is so much worse than he imagened. Running off and telling the pack seemed like a good idea but when they bring up that they have to kill Bella to get rid of the problem, Jacob has to make the tough choice of either staying with his pack or protecting Bella and her new family.
With the fetus growing so rapidly the birth also comes quickly and a suprise to everyone. With Dr Cullen not being there the only way to try and save Bella and the baby is for Edward to do the operation. Will Bella survive the birth or will there be some drastic changes happening at the Cullen home.
For all that has read the book you will clearly know where the film is going to end and what is going to happen in the following film but if you have only watched the films then you are going to get very frustrated at where is ends and eager to know whats happens next.
This film stays closer to the books that the others regarding the scenes and how they are layed out. Because the whole story is based on Bella and Edward it was important for the film to put across the range of emotions that the actors go through. Bella is very protective over her unborn child however Edward wants nothing to do with it and knowing it will kill her makes the pain even worse for him. Robert Pattinson really puts across how Edward feels towards Bella and his everlasting love for her which causes him so much pain to watch her go through the transformation into a skeleton in front of his eyes and him not having any power to stop it.
I was a little dissappointed at the finer details in the film. The Cullens, Rosali and Carlise have bright blonde hair in the books and the other films however in Breaking dawn their hair is more brown than blonde and with them being vampires and never changing, the film directors should have picked up on this. Also there is alot of lines that sound wrong when they have been spoken. You sit there and think that they could have rearranged some of the words to make the sentence sound a little better but that is just on personal opinion.
I really enjoyed this film, alot of people have given it bad reviews but i think the Twilight saga fans would love it even if it was poor quality. I watched it in the cinema but it doesnt seem like it should be in the cinema, it is deffinatly a film to watch in the comfort of your own home to truely appriciate the film to its full potential.
The way they made Bella look super skinny, basically a walking skeleton is amazing and i little grusome at the same time. She really looks dead and when the birth scene comes up although you dont actually see anything you do hear the noises which can be a little stomach churning if you hav a weak stomach but it really does pull you into the film and make you feel like you are in the same room as them. The way that the birth scene is from Bella prospective is really different too, you can not see everything but you can feel her pain and see how she drifts in and out of whilst in the process.
I would recommend this to the people that have watched the previous 3 films and enjoyed them. If you havent watched the first 3 films i strongly suggest thst you watch those first without jumping straight to this one, get a grip of how everything has become the way it is and why before watching this otherwise you wouldnt really have a clue as to why Edward is so reluctant to be close to Bella intermately and the stuggle that they both have had to go through to get to where they are now.
About the film
Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is the fourth film in the Twilight Saga. It was released at cinemas on 18th November. It is rated 12A due to scenes of a fantasy/ frightening nature as well as scenes of partial nudity and violence. The film has a run time of 117 minutes.
The film opens with Jacob Black receiving an invitation to Edward and Bella's wedding which results in him running off in wolf form, even after his father begs him to stay. At the other end of the spectrum, Bella's mother couldn't be happier when she receives her invitation. Reactions to the upcoming wedding are extremely mixed. The whole Cullen family, however, couldn't be happier at the thought of Bella joining their family and they're all extremely busy preparing for the big day.
As the wedding goes off without a hitch and even an appearance from a special guest, Edward and Bella prepare for married life and everything that is about to change between them. First though, they head off to Brazil, to Isle Esme, for their honeymoon and Bella's countdown to becoming a vampire. While there though, the topic of sex obviously comes up and although Edward is reluctant, he is prepared to try as he knows it's the one thing Bella wants while she's still human. Consummating their marriage doesn't go exactly as planned though and something thought to be impossible happens. Bella gets pregnant and all hell breaks loose. No one knows what the outcome will be but everyone knows the possibilities aren't looking good.
Robert Pattinson - Edward Cullen
Kristen Stewart - Bella Swan
Taylor Lautner - Jacob Black
Ashley Greene - Alice Cullen
Jackson Rathbone - Jasper Hale
Peter Facinelli - Dr. Carlisle Cullen
Elizabeth Reaser - Esme Cullen
Kellan Lutz - Emmett Cullen
Nikki Reed - Rosalie Hale
What I thought
Even though I am a massive fan of YA books, I am not the biggest fan of Twilight. However, I was when the first film came out and since have been to see each of them within a week of opening. I really, really liked the first two films in the Saga but Eclipse was terrible in my eyes. Because of this, I was quite worried about seeing Breaking Dawn: Part 1 as I didn't think I was going to like it much at all.
Something I definitely wasn't expecting from this film was for it to be as funny as it was. Yes, there have been a couple of laughs in the previous three but nothing even close to how much I laughed through Breaking Dawn. Within the first 10/15 minutes or so, I had laughed quite a few times at numerous things but the real joy came at Bella and Edward's wedding. The speeches were hilarious and one of my favourites has to be from Anna Kendrick who plays Bella's friend Jessica. I have liked her in all of the films so far and thought she should have been used even more during these scenes. Her speech was fantastic and exactly how her character would have said things. The humour used early on in the film was much needed, I thought, as the story does get a lot darker part way through.
Before the lead up to the film being released, pretty much everything about the wedding scenes had been hidden so I had no idea what to expect. I was extremely happy when things began to get revealed like Bella's wedding dress which was stunning - the back alone needed more time on screen. The whole setting that had been created was perfect for Bella and Edward. It was great to see such a wide range of guests being mixed together with some of the wolves, vampires and humans all being forced into the same space. The actual vows could have been given a bit more time though as I thought this was rushed but overall, this part of the film had me tearing up and I loved it.
I haven't been a fan of Kristen Stewart at all from the very first time she appeared on our screens as Bella Swan. She certainly wasn't how I pictured Bella but now, I can quite happily say that she isn't as bad as she was. Now, I'm not saying she was fantastic in Breaking Dawn but I didn't want to slap her in the face as much as I have wanted to before. After three films, Stewart has had the chance to really get into her role as Bella and to know the character much better than she did to begin with. Her acting skills in Breaking Dawn have come on leaps and bounds compared to how she was in Twilight. Gone is the completely miserable girl who sighs a lot at everything that is said or done and instead, there is now a quite happy girl in her place. I would hope so though considering she has just married the man she loves. However, during the second half of the film, Bella's character changes completely considering that she's having a baby that is pretty much killing her. Here, I thought Stewart did a fantastic job. She looked terrible (and yes miserable but that's ok) and did a really good job of showing everything that was happening to her because of the baby. It was really quite scary how skeletal she looked all of the second half of the film.
In the same way that Stewart was not my Bella, Robert Pattinson has never been my Edward. For the first three films, I thought his acting was extremely stiff and boring but I really quite liked him a lot more this time around. I know he is supposed to be broody or whatever but that doesn't exactly make him likeable. In Breaking Dawn, you finally get to see some emotion from Pattinson and I was extremely thankful for this. During the wedding, he couldn't have looked happier but then afterwards, it was quite nice (in a strange way) to see the panic and terror he was feeling. Pattinson has really evolved as an actor over the course of these films and from doing others in-between. I actually really felt sorry for Edward during this film because of everything that was going on around him and the fact that he didn't really have a say in what was going on.
The chemistry between Stewart and Pattinson was much more believable this time around and I think a lot of that was due to the wedding and them having to look all loved up. The sex scene between the two had to be cut down a lot as to start with, it made the film into an 18 rating rather than the 12A it is now. Because of this though, the scenes do lack a bit of passion but understandably so. This scene does stay as close to the book as possible though in the way that Edward breaks the bed and because there are feathers everywhere afterwards. Overall, it was just a bit too tame for my liking but it was also intimate at the same time.
The second half of the film is where things started to go seriously downhill for me though. The whole crazy pregnancy thing in the book freaked me out to start with so I knew I wasn't going to be a fan of this in the film. The whole thing was creepy and I really didn't want to look at Bella for the most part. If it wasn't her pregnant stomach sticking out from under her clothes, I had to look at her looking completely disgusting and skeletal as I said earlier on. The whole cast though are great during these parts of the film as we get to see more from some that barely got any lines before, Rosalie in particular. I do wish she had gotten a few more though as she is quite a large part of Bella keeping the baby. The whole Cullen family are shown a lot during these scenes and I was glad to see them being used more, especially as they had conflicting ideas about what should be happening to Bella and the baby.
One of my biggest disappointments with Breaking Dawn: Part 1 was the wolves. After realising that Bella and Edward are actually going to get married, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) run away in his wolf form. This is really a big part of the book and why he runs away but the film made it seem as though he ran away one day and was back the next for Bella's wedding and that isn't really how it happened. Also, the plot line concerning Jacob, Seth and Leah was cut severely short and I really liked this part of the book. During this film, we get to witness the way that the wolves can talk to each other once they have transformed but it was laughable to watch. The voices were changed and it all sounded really pathetic and forced. This was really thrown in there just because it happens in the book and wasn't done well at all. It might have been a bit better had it been used a couple more times so that the audience really got the fact that it is what makes a pack so close.
I did love the soundtrack to this film though whereas I hated the one for Eclipse. Some familiar songs are used throughout like Bella's lullaby being used again in certain places. Another song also used again is the one that plays at the end of Twilight but this time, it has been arranged in a different way and if I didn't love it the first time around, I probably wouldn't have even noticed it. The soundtrack feels a lot different compared to others as some of the songs are a lot more chilled out with the likes of Christina Perri and Bruno Mars making contributions.
So, as you can see, Breaking Dawn: Part 1 was far from perfect for me. I really did love the first half of the film but the second half was terrible. I am really looking forward to Part 2 though as a lot more happens and I think it will be extremely exciting.
This is the most amazing film i have been to see at the cinema in ages. This film had some quite comedic moments which i wasn't expecting at all and the wedding was absolutely beautiful. The special effects especially with the wolves was amazing. All together it was a great story line and the acting was brilliant. I would recommend this movie to anyone.
Many of you will probably have been put off watching the latest film adaption of the Twilight saga after the atrocious reviews that it has received, others probably did (the film only received a rating of one star from The Guardian); however, I can't say that I'm surprised at the film's less than warm reception because Twilight is just one of those movies that critics love to hate.
Twilight is a phenomenon that has spread across the globe with frightening speed and whether or not you were caught in the vampire storm, you're sure to have heard of Edward Cullen, Bella Swan, and Jacob Black. (If you haven't ... you must've been living under a rock.) Twilight has always puzzled me because the books aren't that good, the movies aren't that good, and the characters aren't that likeable, and yet I still found myself riding the wave of Twilight hysteria. There's just something about them. Perhaps it's Edward's sparkling skin that has dazed teenage girls all around the globe, who knows.
Breaking Dawn Part 1 was split into two movies because there was just too much action in the novel and it couldn't be translated to screen within two hours. Or that's what they said. I think what they really meant was: 'Harry Potter did it, so we're going to try and be cool and copy them'. No. Just no. Not cool Twilight, not cool. Whilst there has been a long standing Harry Potter-Twilight debate, there really is no competition. The story of the boy who lived captured hearts around the globe and the world had never seen a story like it. Twilight on the other hand, is misconstrued as the story that started the vampire phenomenon, when, in fact, the truth lies far from this. Take The Vampire Diaries as an example: The Vampire Diaries and Twilight have quite a lot in common, both involve hot teen vampires intent on staying on the straight and narrow, both involve vampire-human relationships, and both involve complicated love triangles (a love arrowhead would actually be a better description). However, what a large percentage of the world doesn't know, is that The Vampire Diaries came first, in fact it was published fourteen years prior to the publication of Twilight.
So anyways, I know Breaking Dawn got a lot, and I mean a lot, of bad reviews, but it really wasn't that bad. To be fair I used to be absolutely obsessed with Twilight so I'm not exactly unbiased but my obsession has almost died away and I still thought the movie was alright. It did take my quite by surprise though because it was really quite a graphic movie, at least it suggested, and sometimes showed, many horrific things. In the UK the film is rated as a 12, but I firmly disagree with this and think that it should be made a 15 - people in America were having seizures! I think that says enough. Another thing - Edward breaks the bed. I highly doubt many parents of 12 year olds really want to explain to their children why he broke the bed.
The film starts with Bella's marriage to Edward Cullen. Then, of course, they fly off to Rio for their romantic honeymoon and everything is well until Bella realises that she's two weeks late. Bella and Edward clearly hadn't been using contraception as they didn't believe that vampire/human babies were even possible. Much to Edward's displeasure, Bella decides to keep the baby; however, the vampire-human hybrid growing inside of Bella is a lot stronger than she is and so she goes through much pain and discomfort and her life is endangered. When the wolf pack hears about Bella's pregnancy, they decide it is a threat to humanity and it must be killed. Jacob, still in love with Bella, cannot accept this and breaks away from the wolf pack. For those of you who don't already know how the story goes, I won't ruin it for you, but for people who've already read the book, I'd say it's pretty obvious where the cut off point for Breaking Dawn part 1 is.
One thing the movie did for me, was it highlighted the ludicrousness of some of the things that happen in the book. When you're in the 'twilight' zone and getting into the story, you sort of go with the flow and everything seems normal, but when someone actually says the lines outloud, you realise how ridiculous they are. For example, Bella's decision to name her daughter Renesmee if it's a girl, and Edcob if it's a boy seems stupid in the book, but you soon get used to it; however, when Bella actually voices these thoughts out loud, I could only laugh and laugh and laugh. Edcob? Seriously?! It is unclear whether or not this was intentional or not, but Breaking Dawn was quite a funny movie. In fact, it sort of reminded me of Hot Fuzz, because the genre was sort of comedy mixed with horror.
So onto the horror. There are some truly, truly, disturbing scenes in Breaking Dawn, so if you're even vaguely squeamish it would probably be best if you brought a pillow to hide behind. I love horror movies, but, not gonna lie, Breaking Dawn had some freaky s*** in it. Towards the end of the movie, there is a lot of blood, Bella turns into what can only be described as an actual skeleton and then there's the actual birthing scene. Oh the horror. Those who've read the book will know that Edward rips the baby out of Bella - using his teeth. Sure, that's fairly disturbing to read, but actually seeing RPattz with blood all round his mouth holding a bloody baby will probably haunt me for the rest of my life.
The aftermath of a naughty night
As expected, the acting was horrendous. No matter how good a person is at acting, I think that when they're cast into a movie like Twilight, they leave all their talent behind. I have seen many other films and television shows that the cast of Twiligt have starred in so I know that they're all very talented and it is a shame that they weren't able to showcase their talents.
I can't really say whether or not I would recommend this to others because I think this is just one of those movies that people will love or hate and almost everybody will already have preconceptions of it. If you're already a twilight fan, then you're almost certainly going to go down to the cinema to watch it this holiday, but brace yourselves for what you will see. If you haven't watched the previous Twilight movies, then this is definitely the wrong one to start with and it will give you completely the wrong impression of the Twilight Saga. If you've seen the other movies, but you don't know what's going to happen in Breaking Dawn, then you're in for a show! Despite it's bad reviews, I still found Breaking Dawn a fairly entertaining, humorous, though slightly disturbing film.
Well as a big Twilight fan I have been waiting for this film for a long time, as soon as they released the date it was going to come out I was counting down the days in excitement! Last week, I had a crisis of when I was going to see this film, because all my friends were working, I'd been on placement so the anticipation was killing me.
~*~ Stats ~*~
Directed by - Bill Condon
Produced by - Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt, Stephenie Meyer
Distributed by - Summit Entertainment
Running time - 117 minutes
Budget - 110 million dollars
Gross Revenue in 4 days - 283.5 million dollars
Release date - 17th November
~*~ Cast and Characters ~*~
Bella Swan - Kristen Stewart...
Edward Cullen - Robert Pattinson...
Jacob Black - Taylor Lautner...
Carlisle Cullen - Peter Facinelli...
Esme Cullen - Elizabeth Reaser...
Alice Cullen - Ashley Greene...
Emmett Cullen - Kellan Lutz...
Rosalie Hale - Nikki Reed...
Jasper Hale - Jackson Rathbone...
Charlie Swan - Billy Burke...
Renée Dwyer - Sarah Clarke...
~*~ Brief Plot ~*~
Well, Edward has asked Bella to marry him, Bella has said yes, so it can only lead to one thing? A wedding, watch the wedding and honeymoon unfold and see what terrible dramas and problems it can bring to the new Mr and Mrs Cullen. As everyone knows by now, it's never going to be plain sailing for the pair - especially with friends like Bella has, watch as Jacob comes along all brooding as usual, with his werewolf friends or enemies depends how you see it. If you've read the books then you know exactly how this film is going to play out, but if you haven't go watch it just to have a look.
~*~ Well, live up to expectations? ~*~
To be honest no, I am a huge fan of the entire saga, I have all the books and to be honest if you saw them - they are really well read. I've got all of the DVD's and well the first one has probably been played to death by now. So I went in expecting a lot, having read the book and knowing the plot, I knew I wasn't in for any huge surprises and if there were any, well they'd ruined the book. So I sat and eagerly awaited the film to start, after half hour of trailers it finally came on.
I want to say the acting had improved, but I'm not going to lie to you, Kristen Stewart is still as stiff as a board, looks like she's never cracked a smile in her life and seriously girl - for a character who is about to get everything she wants in life, take it from me she would be smiling a lot! In comparison to the way she is described in the book, the way Kristen has been directed is just not right. As the books go on she is meant to become a little less awkward, and get used to the way of life she so desperately wants but in this film she seems to have gone backwards - initially anyway, as the film goes on she gets a bit better, but then that is totally beside the point when you have to suffer an hour of awkward behaviour. Robert Pattinson, as normal is brilliant as Edward, as the dark and brooding vampire, but this time we get to see a development in him slightly as there is more lust in his character, rather than that love that we have just been seeing in the past three films - which is more how a teenage boy should be and we all know that. To be fair the amount we see the rest of the cast is pretty small considering how big a part they actually play in the book. Rosalie especially irritates me in the book, by trying to take over, but in the film she's just acting like the doting sister-in-law. I don't like the way they've been told to act the characters this time and it just irritated me, because it seemed so false. I know the film isn't real life, and I know there will always be an element of believability that isn't there - but this just pushed it to dire extremes. Only people I found didn't irritate the life out of me were Bella's 'friends' at the wedding, they were only in small parts this film - but well written and acted parts even if it was for as little as thirty seconds. Ok, so just in case you thought I had forgotten to mention Jacob, I haven't - I was slightly impressed at the way he acted this film, a little different to how I expected but it was in a good way, it doesn't make me like him anymore than I did but the character has developed to a point so that I don't want to hit him for his naivety when it comes to women.
Now the story itself, because I knew the book I knew where it was headed, and to be honest after the last film everyone knew where it was headed - so really it was natural progression. Which despite it being so, I'm not going to excuse how quickly it moved in the film - there were parts like some honeymoon scenes that could have been cut, to make for a bit more of the actual action. Even that was few and far between, the tension between the werewolves was high and I think that should have had a more prominent part of the film rather than some of the honeymoon scenes that were just repeated of the same thing that had happened twenty seconds earlier. They seemed to extend the laborious bits, and shorten the parts that would have made for quality viewing which is a shame, however there is a part of the film that every girl watching will understand, but it seemed so out of place in a bunch of films that are so deeply serious all the time. Yes it made the screen of people giggle, but it just didn't feel appropriate and you can tell that Kristen wasn't comfortable doing it which made it a little hard to watch. I sound like I'm complaining about the entire film, but to be honest if I'd made it, it would have been very different but Stephanie Meyer didn't ask me so what do I know!
One thing I will say costume wise - Bella's dress, was very nice simple, elegant and suited her very boyish figure, but again she looked so awkward in it that it became another laughable moment in the film. Edward looked good, right there whether he was clothed or not really, similarly with Jacob, but then that has no bearing on the film at all I don't think - oh who am I kidding who could ignore it. Made the almost sex scene a little more watchable, it was a subtle sex scene for a move that is apparently a 12 it was just about appropriate, the way it's described in the book little bit more vulgar but for the screen it was a good adaptation - because it was very obvious what they were doing without slapping you in the face with it. Now the settings in the film, were as breath-taking as ever, the Cullen house never fails to amaze me - it's beautiful and well I want it, always have done even though it's not quite how I imagined it. The setting to the wedding now I'm not sure exactly where it was but it looked like that damn meadow they spend so much time in, but in reality it looked beautiful and to be honest I'd happily get married somewhere like that providing it wasn't raining! The honeymoon ventured through Rio which was unexpected, but still was a bit of a distraction from the plot, and again Bella never cracked a smile, or if she did it was a tiny one. The honeymoon was spent on a gorgeous deserted island and well, the word wow springs to mind if someone were to whip me away to that I'd definitely have a bigger smile than she did.
Ok, so now the part that really wound me up was the special effects, without giving away what happens, it puts Bella in a bit of a situation where a lot of special effects and make up are required. Now at first the make up was good, and there was no need for CGI, as time went on CGI got a bit more involved, and if I'm honest that's when it started to lose the plot slightly. No one needs remind me it's not real - but if you are trying to persuade an audience that it is real, you are not going to do it this way. I was sat with my best friend in stitches inwardly cringing at how awful it looked, and just how unbelievable it was to anyone - I knew what was coming I just didn't expect it to be quite that in my face. Some parts of the book that you expected to be elaborated, were made out to be ridiculous and to be honest just made me want to walk out. I stuck it out though, to the end purely because I wanted to see where they would end the film - now that was a bit of a hot topic considering the film is ended half way through the book. I am actually impressed with how they chose to end the film, it's a credit to Stephanie I think more than anything else, but the few minutes leading up to it just were tedious - we all knew what was coming and well we need not have made it last so long!
I sound like I'm just whinging about the film, and to be honest I am a little bit - because it just didn't live up to my expectations at all, I expected something more realistic as hard as that was going to be - but not something that was laughable. Something with a bit more action, to get my teeth into (excuse the pun,) I just came out of the cinema really annoyed that I'd waited so long to see something that had so utterly disappointed me. I wish they'd spent more time on it than they had even though this film has been a long time coming, and really Summit the soundtrack, this is a Twilight film don't put Bruno Mars in it! Seriously, ruined the soundtrack completely - Twilight soundtracks are beautiful tunes, or something a bit heavier, than Mars warbling on about something no one is interested in. So far the weakest of the five films, I will see the next one purely just so I can say that it's better than this one, because with all the awkward things done it shouldn't rely so heavily on special effects that just make things look like they were made in the eighties. So thank you for making the book into a film so I can continue my collection, but please make sure the next one is better Summit! Please!
I am a huge fan of the Twilight Saga and so it was with great anticipation I waited for the release of Breaking Dawn part one in the cinema. My sister booked us tickets to go and see it on the opening day and then I went to see it again the day after which I guess will give you a little bit of an idea as to how my review will go!
The Twilight Saga for those who may not be aware is centred on three characters that live in a small town in America named Forks. Bella and Edward are a couple and very much in love although Edward is a vampire and Bella is not. Bella's best friend Jacob, who is a werewolf, loves her too but is resigned to the fact that she loves Edward more. It is not really possible to write this review without giving away a little of what has gone on in the previous films and so if you do not wish to know this please do not continue reading my review.
Breaking Dawn begins with the preparations for the wedding of Bella and Edward and continues through their honeymoon and some of the issues which arise from that. As such the film is very much focussed on the three main characters in this film I feel, with the bulk of it being around Bella and Edward really which wasn't something I minded as I am very much team Edward anyway!
I was really looking forward to seeing the way in which they would portray the wedding and honeymoon in this film because it was one of my favourite parts of the Breaking Dawn book. I have to say that I wasn't disappointed at all in this although I do feel that we jumped very quickly in to the wedding. I think Kristen Stewart plays the nervous bride very well indeed and I have to say the dress in which she wears is just perfect for the character of Bella. She really does look divine in it and I did get goose bumps as I watched her walk down the aisle towards her perfect groom. As she walks down the aisle it seems that all Bella's worries evaporate as she sees Edward and I thought that this was just perfect as she feels so safe and herself when she is with him. It is almost like they need to love each other and I like this because although I know it is clearly make believe as a romantic at heart it leaves me thinking maybe there is an Edward out there for me too. The author of the books Stephanie Meyer actually is there within the wedding guests as Bella walks down the aisle which I thought was a nice touch, though probably one she demanded!
The honeymoon part of the film is reasonably long really and it shows the more sexual and lusting side of Edward who has been nothing but a gentleman in his intentions to Bella until she had married him. I think again Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson played this really well as it was clear to see that the characters felt so nervous, yet needed to be with one another so badly. The film is rated as a 12A and so there are no full on sex scenes but it is clear what is going on and of course there are lots of kissing and such like. I think potentially the honeymoon scene could have been slightly shorter but there was a lot to get in from the book and so I see why it was this length.
As the film progresses and Bella and Edward have issues to deal with including a fall out with the wolf pack I felt that the majority of the acting and things included was really good. In particular I think that the make up which was used to make Bella look ill and withdrawn was incredible. Kristen is very naturally slim but I do think she must have lost some more weight for this film because at points she looks almost skeletal. The effects used in this film I think could possibly be quite shocking for someone who has not read the books and who is just a fan of watching the film because there is a lot of blood used at certain points in the film. As I watched it in the cinema on Friday night a lot of younger girls exclaimed "that is disgusting" and words to those effects but for me it just seemed pretty normal as I had read the book and also been through some of the situations in which Bella was in too.
There are quite a few comedic moments which I think are thrown in there just to break up the seriousness of some of the other scenes and I would say moments to look out for include the speeches at the wedding for example.
I think the Twilight cast get quite a lot of grief for their acting skills, or to some people their lack of them, but for me the main characters act their roles perfectly. Yes, Kristen can be a little awkward at times playing Bella but for me that is who Bella is and I do feel that she comes in to her own a little more in this film as she is happy getting married to the man she loves and seducing him on her honeymoon! Robert Pattinson for me is wonderful as Edward and more so in this film as they seem to have let him just chill out a little bit and so whilst he is still brooding at points he seems a lot more relaxed and it is almost like Edward has finally become comfortable with himself. Taylor Lautner who plays Jacob Black is also great at playing his part although he is often sulky in this film and I feel it would be nice to see cheeky Jake a bit more! I do think there are some key moments involving Taylor which he does act really well though.
In comparison to Eclipse there is a lot less action in this film and I have heard a few people complain about this. The thing is, Breaking Dawn is split in to two parts and so having read the book I would totally anticipate that part two will be all about the action where as part one was all about the love story. I was more than happy with the way in which the book was portrayed on to the big screen and I don't really have any complaints with it at all, which I guess is why I have been twice in the opening weekend and would love to go again already! My only real issue with the film and a part which I thought was laughable and would have probably been better handled in a different way was when the wolves get together and are all talking through each others minds and it all seems a bit like silly voices and a little bit awkward. People I have spoken to have also said the same so it is a shame it didn't fit in well with the rest of the film.
The scenery in the film is absolutely stunning and in particular Isle Esme where Bella and Edward honeymoon is breathtaking. It is the kind of place which you would just love to go to on a honeymoon really as it is secluded and private and a place where you can just focus on each other. The wedding was also beautifully set up and took place outside in an area with masses of white flowers hanging from trees which were again idyllic.
What I liked about the music used in this film was that there were recaps to songs used in the first films which just took you back to those first moments that Bella and Edward shared.
As I am sure you can tell I totally adored this film and for me it was pretty close to perfect on how I imagined it was going to be after reading the book. I wonder if had I been a Jacob fan whether I would have enjoyed it less because the first half of the film is pretty much Bella and Edward kissing a lot but for me it was just brilliant. I do hope that I can go and see it again and I would thoroughly recommend seeing it for yourself.
Bring on part two next year!!!
As many of you will know from previous reviews I have quite a soft spot for the Twilight Saga, I have read all of the books several times and also seen the films. On the first day of release I popped along to our local cinema to watch the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 with my teenage daughter, a week later I saw it again with a colleague who I had promised to accompany. Having enjoyed the previous films I was looking forward to a couple of hours of easy going escapism.
Unfortunately it is not possible to review this film without including some spoilers for the Twilight Saga so I apologise now.
After a short but intensive relationship the charming vampire Edward Cullen has managed to persuade the love of his existence, Bella Swann, to marry him but only after he agreed to change her into a vampire too as she did not want to grow old next to the ever young Edward. Jacob Black, a young werewolf who also loves Bella is devastated by this news. Edwards's sister Alice arranged a typically opulent wedding and the newlyweds head off to a secret destination to enjoy their honeymoon.
Things don't progress as expected and once again the shape-shifting werewolves of the Quileute tribe are doing battle with the Cullen clan to protect the local human population.
The first scene is of Jacob running out into the rain and ripping his shirt off. This seemed an excellent start and as Team Jacob it was probably the highlight of the whole film for me!
The film begins properly with the Cullen's wedding, right from the beginning this film felt like it was being padded out to make the two instalments. The wedding itself was an extravagant affair and it made a wonderful cinematic experience for a few minutes as it was beautiful. However it was dragged out excessively with corny speeches, meaningful shots of the guests(including Stephenie Meyer) and the most bizarre shot of a musical group that had my daughter laughing hysterically for several minutes as it was so incongruous. I was extremely pleased to see the newlyweds drive away in their sparkling Volvo.
Once Edward and Bella arrived at their honeymoon destination things started to get better. The island and the house were just as I had imagined whilst reading the book and it was lovely to see such an idyllic place on a cold November day. The "headboard" scene was rather short and was quite a disappointment to anyone who is Team Edward who were hoping to get to see a bit more of Edwards's physique. I then felt like the film was in the wrong order as there was the sex scene and then various arty shots of Bella and Edward which made it seem like a couple of days passed and then Edward was asking Bella if she was hurt. The whole thing just didn't flow properly and didn't make sense. However when I watched the film again I realised that these were supposed to be Bellas dreamscenes, a bit too arty for my liking though.
I like Robert Pattinson and think he was a good choice for Edward but there were some rather dodgy scenes in this film where he looked rather awkward. However when he was playing Edward in a more relaxed scene I thought he excelled himself.
I have never been impressed with Kristen Stewart as Bella but I have to admit that in this film she seemed to come into her own and actually made Bella seem like a real person. Bella has stopped being so whiny and was finding inner strength and Kristen played it really well. Watching her physical transformation throughout the film as she refused to change her mind was, in my opinion, the most impressive and memorable part of Breaking Dawn.
Taylor Lautner looked as good as ever as the love struck Jacob Black but his performance was more wooden than in the previous films although his goodbye scene with Bella was quite moving and I must admit to feeling a little tearful!
Previous films have benefited from some fantastic performances by some of the supporting cast, particularly Billy Burke who plays Bellas father. Unfortunately Breaking Dawn has very few of these gems, Billy Burke is there but just doesn't feature very highly. Alice Cullen, once again played in a delightfully vivacious fashion by Ashley Greene, was probably the only person who really impressed me. Whilst mentioning one of the Cullen Coven I must say that most of them looked a little different, their hair all appeared slightly strange in colour as well as style, in fact they all looked rather perculiar.
I thought that the CGI for the wolves was even better than in the last film but I was absolutely horrified when they started to speak! It was like the voice ofthe Gods as they communicated with each other whilst in wolf form. This has not been done in previous films and I hope never to see it again as it was probably the most cringe-worthy thing I have seen in a long time. My daughter and I just exchanged horrified glances and prayed for it to stop! When I saw it the second time it seemed even more ridiculous and I must admit to getting the giggles and ended up having tears pouring down my face.
The book is written largely from Jacobs viewpoint and this wasn't portrayed particularly well but I also don't think it did an excellent job of portraying what Bella was thinking either. The previous films have done this much better and I felt that if you hadn't read the book you would seriously be wondering what was going through her mind and why she was behaving in such a self-destructing way. I really don't think this could be watched as a standalone film as there was not enough scene-setting or information being given.
The fight scenes in the last film were very good but in this film the last fight scene seemed rushed and poorly filmed and it was impossible to work out what was happening.
There had been various debates about where the film would stop in relation to the book ready for Part 2. I thought that it was obvious where it would stop and I was right but talking to my daughter afterwards I found out that she had been thinking of a completely different part which I hadn't considered so some viewers may be surprised. Personally I felt that the ending worked well and set the film up perfectly for Part 2. However I really feel that the whole book could have been covered within one film. Part 1 was just over an hour and a half long which is not long for a modern film and as I have stated previously I think it felt quite padded. The original Twilight film is slow and gentle and built up to a brilliant climax but this film just felt as if it was being slow just to fill time. I seemed to notice the music far more in this film as well, some tracks were familiar and may have been from the earlier films but I rarely notice the music in films and never feel that it is a good thing if I do as I feel that it should almost be working in my subconscious to evoke emotions whilst viewing.
This was the first Twilight Saga film directed by Bill Condon who is also directing Part 2. I don't think he did an outstanding job of this film and unfortunately the fact that he is also working on Part 2 is rather disappointing to me as I just didn't think he set the right tone somehow.
As you can probably tell I feel very disappointed with this film. I was looking forward to a few hours of romantic escapism with a bit of action thrown in. Instead I was treated to a rather short film lacking in any real atmosphere but containing some rather strange effects such as the talking wolves and plenty of blood vessel shots that reminded me of a cross between a Biology A-level educational video and The Fantastic Voyage (a 1966 film). Breaking Dawn is not my favourite book from the Saga but I do find it quite enjoyable as it has a completely different storyline but unfortunately this film just failed to capture the real essence of the novel. I must admit that I actually liked it better on the second viewing as my expectations were lower so I just enjoyed the good bits and forgot about the disappointing bits. I am sure I will end up seeing Part 2 for the sake of completeness but I won't be rushing to the cinema on release day like I did for this one.